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Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre

This page is available in French / Cette page est disponible en français

The Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre is funded through a partnership between the Province of Ontario and the City of Thunder Bay. We help you determine what you need to do before, during and after launching your business.

The Entrepreneur Centre provides:

  • Free consultations with a qualified business consultant
  • Internet and computer access for business research and planning
  • Review of business plans
  • Consultations through a lawyer/accountant referral service
  • Up-to-date, leading-edge information geared to the needs of the entrepreneur
  • Access to current resource materials, including directories, trade indexes and books that entrepreneurs can peruse on-site
  • Workshops and seminars
  • Guidance on licenses, permits, registration, regulations and other forms and documents required to start and build a business
  • Import and export information
  • Information on patents, copyright and trademarks
  • Mentoring and networking opportunities 

To actively support and engage the dynamic success, growth, and diversification of small business in Thunder Bay and District by providing cutting-edge, accurate and clear information through workshops, consultations and business plan reviews rooted in a strong customer service approach.

To become the premier small business enterprise centre in Ontario.

    Guides, Programs, Services, and Resourceful Links

    Starting a Business GuideStarting a Business Guide

    Entrepreneurship can be very rewarding, but also time consuming and labour-intensive. Our starting a business guide will show you how to evaluate your business ideas, assess the market, and navigate the regulatory environment. It also includes a listing of local business organizations and resources.

    Starting a Business Guide Adobe PDF, 40 pages, 2.8 MB
    Démarrage d'une enterprise guide  Adobe PDF, 40 page, 3.21 MB


    Starter Company Plus

    Want to start your own business, buy or expand an existing company? Need $5,000 or less for start up or expansion? Then Starter Company Plus is for you!

    Learn more

    Summer Company

    Summer Company is the Government of Ontario’s flagship youth entrepreneurship program. It provides enterprising young people, aged 15 to 29, with the opportunity to start and run their own summer businesses.

    If you are accepted into the program, you will receive an award of up to $3,000, hands-on business coaching, and mentoring from local community business leaders who will work with you to make your Summer Company a reality.

    Learn more 

    Futurpreneur Canada

    Futurpreneur Canada has been fueling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada’s young enterprise for 20 years. We are the only national non-profit organization that provides support tools, mentoring and financing of up to $45,000 to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,800 volunteer mentors. Futurpreneur Canada is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week.  

    Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch! And Win!

    Make Your Pitch, a high school entrepreneurship competition presented by the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infastructure and the Ontario Centres of Excellence as part of the Youth Jobs Strategy. The contest challenges students in grades 9 to 12 to pitch their business idea in a two-minute video that will be voted on by the public and expert judges. Finalists will be awarded a trip to Toronto to pitch their ideas to an expert panel for a chance to receive prizes.

    Visit for details and video submissions.

    Small Business Access

    Get support, information and advice to run your small business.

    Canadian Business Network   
    The Canada Business Network promotes entrepreneurship and innovation, and provides assistance through an organized network of service centres across Canada.

    The Canada Business Network’s goal is to provide your business with the resources it needs to grow and prosper, including a wide range of information on government services, programs and regulations. Visit our Canadian Business Network page for more information.


    The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC)   
    The NOHFC Young Entrepreneur program aims to mobilize a new generation of entrepreneurs and community builders in the North, securing a more prosperous future for tomorrow’s northern families and workers. For more information on NOHFC please visit their website

    The Thunder Bay Public Library     
    The Library is here for YOU as a business person! Our mission is to strengthen the community, and that includes local businesses. For more information on the Thunder Bay Public Library please visit their website

    Located downstairs at the Waverley Resource Library, hub:north is an 'incubation zone' that provides spaces and services conducive to business growth and innovative development. Entrepreneur Centre staff are onsite at hub:north every Tuesday and Friday from 2pm to 4pm to help you with your business plans and ideas. Learn more on the Library's website:

    Northern Ontario Angels (NOA) is the premier organization in the North created to stimulate increased investment by Northern Ontario investors into Northern Ontario companies. This is accomplished by improving the flow of investment capital and management expertise into high-growth-potential northern companies through the creation of angel investor groups. For more information on NOA please visit their website

    L'association des francophones du Nord-Ouest de l'Ontario (l'AFNOO)      
    Live, visit, study, work, invest or immigrate ... Everyone can find resources, health care, recreation, businesses, organizations who offer their services in French near you or accessible through the Internet. For more information on AFNOO and their services, please visit their website at:

    The association des francophones du Nord-Ouest de l’Ontario (AFNOO) has developed a directory of French-language services to promote bilingualism and the French language as an asset in business. 

    The directory is frequently consulted by French-speaking tourists and newcomers to Northwestern Ontario. If your business or organization offers some or all of its services in French, it can be listed in the directory for free. The listing gives you and your service visibility and access to a growing and dynamic francophone community, both in Northwestern Ontario and beyond.     

    For more information, call AFNOO toll free at 1-888-248-1712 or you can register directly online at

    Step by Step Guide to Exporting
    The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service's (TCS) Step‑by‑Step Guide to Exporting contains practical insight gathered from Trade Commissioners around the world who each year support thousands of Canadian companies to export successfully. Whether you are a novice, intermediate advanced exporter, the 90‑page Guide provides the resources you need to close more deals, enter more markets and be more competitive.

    Note: Sign‑in required via MY TCS. If you do not have an account yet, it takes only a minute to sign‑up for MY TCS. Your one‑time, free registration gives you access to all TCS publications, guides and market reports. Sign up

    Industry Canada's Key Small Business Statistics

    Key Small Business Statistics is an annual publication that provides baseline data on the small business sector in Canada. This nineteenth edition updates data found in previous editions and introduces some new sections.

    Please visit the website for the complete report:

    Small Business Resources Guide

    In today’s digital world, small businesses have much more to worry about than just products and services. This page contains guides for many of today’s challenges for small businesses, online and off. The website was created as a manifestation of our mission to build a web based resource providing the most useful content for entrepreneurs and small businesses to leverage in their pursuit of success. For more information visit their website 

    Ryan Moore, Development Officer         
    Phone: (807) 625-3972

    Lexie Penko, Programs Coordinator
    Phone: (807)625-3286

    The Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre (EC)
    Suite 201, 34 Cumberland Street North
    P.O. Box 800
    Thunder Bay, Ontario
    Canada P7C 5K4

    Toll Free: 1-800-668-9360 (North America)
    Fax: (807) 623-3962